Banished from Time reviews
DemonFeces on February 17th, 2018
My Cilice is a bit too Tight
I only recently became aware of the one-man Portugese black metal project known as Black Cilice despite his large back catalog comprised mostly of demos and splits. The sound is...congested. Noisey claustrophobic ambience sits atop the suffocating tremolo riffing. It is not your standard thin black metal sound. 'Timeless Spectre' is a mammoth opener and if this alone doesn't deter you then 'On the Verge of Madness' may bring you to the brink. If this is the 'verge' then over the edge must be fucking scary. The term 'brutal black metal' describes bands that have a healthy dose of death metal in their tone but this...this is simply stifling.
The interesting sound forms are somewhat tough to pick up on the first round of listens due to the thickness of the production. The swirling tornado riffage and surging seas of drums are so forceful that they sound a little blotchy and not as crisp as maybe they should've been. The drums are loud and fast but more or less just percussive noise; straightforward blastbeats, hi-hats and splash cymbals. There are moments when the tempo slows enough to hear the individual pieces of the kit, but not many. This is when the ghostly ambience meshes well with the overly distorted guitars to create an eerie atmosphere. When these tempo changes occur, it's almost startling.
Three of the five songs breach the 8-minute mark and go on for a bit too long, given the circumstances. Vocally, we are presented with a nonarchetypal style of the chosen genre in the vein of a painful, distressing shouted delivery. Remarkably hollow and distant, drenched in more noise and bits of echo, they reside high in the mix floating just below the crashing cymbal work. The lyrical content is short and blunt based on a lot of movement, similar to the songs' constant oscillations. Clean voices are buried so deep that it is sometimes difficult to discern between an extended vocal line and drifting guitar notes...
This is an album best enjoyed after more than few spins, and maybe a few drinks. I'm not being derogatory as there's a lot of tough sounds going on here and those accustomed to run-of-the-mill sonics will surely be put off by the blitzing barrage. 'Channeling Forgotten Energies' is the track that provides the most breathing room, so to speak. It is the most dynamic of the lot, expressing all elements into one slightly more condensed affair that contains all range of tempos. 'Boiling Corpses' with it's more death metal, title finishes off this five song thirty-seven minute and three second album. There is a sick aural bliss hidden herein and if you haven't turned it off by now, it will take you to a satisfying end.
Twin_guitar_attack on June 20th, 2017
Banished from time
A slew of splits and demos as well as three full lengths may have preceded the new album Banished From Time by black metal project Black Cilice but unfortunately they’re an artist that has not managed to appear on my radar before this, and it’s the first album I’ve heard by them. Black metal with a noisy, raw and uncompromising production but with great song writing including room for melody and deranged vocal performances make this a harsh but rewarding listen, certainly not recommended for the faint of heart or those who prefer their black metal with a modern post-rock/shoegaze influence for sure.
Black Cilice hit you with an earache inducing wall of sound from the moment Timeless Spectre kicks the album off. Fast and blunt blastbeats and gravelly rumbling bass provide the lower end for several layers of distorted guitar, with tremolo picking razor sharp lower pitched riffs, and esoteric melodies at the high end of the fretboard all with a raw production that’s one of purpose than necessity – coming together in something of a tinnitus inducing mess. It’s not the rawest production in the world and above the hundreds of bedroom bands out there on soundcloud but it’s uncompromising and brutally harsh, a throbbing migrainey sound juxtaposing the tone with the rather beautiful almost classical sounding melodies in the higher end. The distorted groans, screams, shrieks and howls are drawn out and pained, loud in the mix and scathing to the ears. There’s some slower chuggier moments throughout and those where the melodic guitars are allowed to take center stage as the rest of the instruments slow down slightly or drop out, but most of the album is a huge wall of brilliantly constructed but aurally devastating black metal brilliance. Sometimes at points the production sounds a little too thin, especially if you’re listening to it through speakers rather than headphones on the occasional parts when they ramp down a little on the intensity, which is a shame, but it’s when all these layers combine that Banished From Time hits its stride.
The songs are varied, with On the Verge of Madness having some atmospheric repeated riffs a bit like a more deranged Burzum, Channeling Forgotten Energies has something of a faster and more epic sound from the major sounding riffs and Boiling Corpses suffers a little from the weaker production in some of the parts mentioned earlier when some layers drop out a bit and it slows down, but still sounds oppressive with the relentless throbbing bass. Really though it’s similar in tone throughout due to an oppressive unrelenting production and demonic howling vocals that are as chilling from first to last track, and it really should be listened to as a whole album – if you can take it as such that is.
Raw and brutalistic in its production, well constructed, varied, and sometimes even beautiful in its music, Banished From Time is more than another raw and underproduced black metal album, and without being free of flaws Black Cilice have made a piece of enigmatic blackened art.
Originally written for swirlsofnoise.com
OmegaThrone on June 9th, 2017
Pummeling, chaotic, inebriating.
This is real black metal, none of that namby pamby bullshit that relies on forest soundscapes or looking longingly at ones shoes. Right from the second Timeless Specter kicks in, the drums assault you with rapidity and fervor while in the distance the vocals vary between agonized cries, shrieks and growls. The guitar does this fantastic job of laying down a little melody and beauty in the midst of all the audible violence, while nothing too ground breaking the riffs can be really fucking catchy and you find yourself entranced by the duality that it creates with the pounding drums and cacophonous vocals.
This in my opinion the best full length the band has released since Summoning the Night, it sounds more faithful to the perfection that was A Corpse, A Temple and their demo's rather than their previous release Mysteries. This return to their roots is indeed favourable for fans that shied away from the previous releases and should welcome new listeners with ease, as much ease as raw black metal allows. This is definitely a win for the band and Iron Bonehead, so far this album is in contention for a spot on my best of 2017, and I don't see it being beaten out easily.
At times the tracks seem to blend together, often making the album itself feel like one lengthy song, while this can be pleasurable and make for an immersive experience; that's not always what I'm looking for. Personally I find you need to be in the mood to listen to this album, as listening the whole way through is the only way to truly appreciate it. That being said, standouts on this album are Timeless Specter, Channeling Forgotten Energies and Boiling Corpses" but the whole album is deserving of merit and worth a listen.
Something else I found to be quite striking was the album cover itself, the image is simple yet it encapsulates entirely the essence and feeling of this album. Call me old fashioned but something about black and white albums covers with skulls, robes and appropriately "kvlt" logos really speak to me. Seemingly all that's missing is candles of some sort and you'd have every box checked in terms of proper black metal album art. Just like the music, the imagery is traditional and it serves its purpose in adding to the overall aesthetic of the album. The whole package coalesces quite well with both physical and audible components doing an effective job of making this a memorable listen.
Whether you're an old wolf or a new devotee this album is definitely worth at least a listen.
NausikaDalazBlindaz on April 22nd, 2017
Beneath chaos and agony lies unearthly beauty
In spite of an impressive discography accumulated over the years that includes four albums to date, this Portuguese act still doesn't have very many reviews here at MA - no wonder he's as unhappy and anguished as ever on this, his fourth full-length outing. Banished from time and space as well indeed! True, I did review his first album "A Corpse, A Temple" over six months ago and I have to say this newie doesn't sound much different from that first major work of several years ago. "Banished from Time" is a very intense and thundering work, often repetitive, and always frenzied and feverish. The sound, flooded with reverb, is noisy and cavernous, all-enveloping until you feel that your head is completely filled up with even more music pushing its way in with all that non-stop intense percussion thudding and you're in danger of drowning in such overwhelming noise and mental torment.
From start to finish, the music is constant assault on your senses and consciousness, with a lot of cacophony and howling, but within the noise and non-stop shrieking there are definite melodies and riffing. The first track "Timeless Spectre" is a good example of what to expect: high-speed pounding drums, steaming fuzzy vibrato guitars, banshee vocals howling trapped within the depths of the noise reverb, with melodies and actual riffs and rhythms passing in and out. The following track "On the Verge of Madness" has more of the same except that the music seems more streamlined and focused with one constant rhythm banging out its heart and growing more intense and urgent. The third track has a good galloping groove that goes into a hysterical frenzy as the song progresses amid the noise and anguish.
On and on it goes ... yes, the music sounds like the proverbial flood that, once set free, never stops pouring and overflowing the levees and plains. Yet there's actual structure carved out of the sound and noise that gives the album some direction and brings out its message of absolute despair and total alienation. The last couple of songs on the album bring something new as well to the usual screeching: the fourth song "Channeling Forgotten Energies" has an additional layer of sharp-ish drone and the final track "Boiling Corpses" has as much fury and aggressive, destructive drama as it does desperation and inner torment. For the first time, the anger seems to turn outward away from attacking its owner and towards the source of torment with single-minded obsession. Some signal of hope, of a light shining into the darkness, now becomes apparent and there's the possibility of inner peace and healing.
This album is more of an immersion into a particular kind of hell than it is a collection of songs or a soundtrack - its intensity will put off most people and only those who may have had similar depressive experiences will appreciate it for what it is and represents. Beneath the layers of noise, confusion and agony can be found music of overwhelming emotion that in its own way possesses unearthly beauty.